For decades, first-time visitors to Niles have been blown away by the half-sized replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa on Toohy Avenue.
Now they will be able to buy it for billions of dollars.
Big Potato Games introduces Zillionaires: Road Trip USA. This is a board game in which two to his five players compete, bidding and winning fictitious “billions” of dollars to successively purchase the game’s collection of 49 properties. .
Among the 49 real-life attractions chosen for the game was the Leaning Tower of Niles.
The 94-foot-tall tower was built in 1934 by local businessman Robert Irg. Robert Irg wanted to build a swimming pool and beautify the water tower for the employees of the power company. According to previous reports. He came up with the idea of creating a replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
The Leaning Tower of Niles was later handed over to the Niles YMCA, but was purchased by Niles Village in 2015. According to previous reports. Restoration of the tower began in the 1990s and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2019.
Massimo Zeppetelli, head of US marketing for Big Potato Games, explained in an email that he was drawn to the tower’s history.
“As an Italian, I was drawn to this wonderful pastiche of the Leaning Tower of Pisa! A fun fact is that Niles (the village) became a sister city to Pisa,” writes Zepetelli. “I also found it interesting that it was originally used to store water for public swimming pools.”
Besides the Leaning Tower of Pisa, other Illinois creations include the world’s largest ketchup bottle in Collinsville (disguised as a water tower), rocking chairs, mousetraps, barber poles, knitting needles, and 60 foot mailbox.
“Using various websites that list interesting landmarks around the country, we have created a huge list of hundreds of locations and narrowed them down to the most interesting (and answered the phone!) ”said Zeppetelli.
The 49 stops are not commonly associated with iconic national destinations such as the Grand Canyon or the Statue of Liberty. Instead, find them in off-the-beaten-track locations, such as the world’s largest toilet in Columbus, Indiana, or the International Banana Museum in Mecca, California.
Big Potato Games Managing Director Adam Wright said: “We had a long list of initial attractions and we narrowed it down to 49 that were in the game. Imagine someone actually bidding $10 billion for one of the attractions!”
In this age of streaming and constant cell phone use, playing board games may seem dated to Gen Z and millennials. According to Zeppetelli, it’s not.
“We did consumer insight tests and understood that there are multiple core demographics interested in board games,” he said. “Millennials are definitely one of them! “